More from Fort Myers on a Wednesday
Kind of a quick blog today, but an entertaining one (I hope).
I began the day watching 1st and 3rd defenses being implemented and perfected. Catcher’s throws were on point. Infielders were in the right places and making the right reads and all looked clean.
PFP’s followed and the pitchers looked, dare I say, athletic! There is a running joke among coaches and position players (basically anyone that doesn’t pitch) that pitchers are “Non-Athletes”. I think it’s meant to be said jokingly, but some folks that I’ve run across actually take it to another level. Not on Field Three today though. The pitchers were spry, alert and well prepared. Way to put the stereotype to bed…at least for today.
Jeremy Hazelbaker was one of the 12 players that got their swings in before their 1pm game against Norfolk.
I had about an hour to kill between the end of practice and the start of the game, so I went exploring at JetBlue Park and here are a few pictures of my adventures.
Game Time…Steven Wright started for the PawSox and his knuckleball was dancing very lively today. He ended up throwing four solid innings allowing no runs on just four hits with five strikeouts (even a couple on fastballs). General Manager Ben Cherington and former captain Jason Varitek were on hand to watch which made his performance even more impressive.
Kyle Kaminska, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Pirates, added four innings on the mound. He allowed a run on a sacrifice fly in the 6th, but gave up just three hits while striking out four. He even retired the last seven batters he faced.
Will Latimer, who pitched briefly in Pawtucket last year, added a scoreless 9th with a strikeout.
The PawSox offense managed just four hits, but a two-out solo homer by Michael Almanzar in the 7th off of former Red Sox reliever Manny Delcarmen tied the game 1-1. Almanzar finished with two hits. Bryce Brentz added a double.
There was a buzz before the start of the game as Xander Bogaerts made his vaunted return from the World Baseball Classic. As is the case with all minor league spring games, there is no set lineup. So Bogaerts hit five times in the first five innings. He hit a couple balls well, but came away empty. He did, however, drive a double the opposite way to right field and played a flawless shortstop for four innings.
Jeremy Hazelbaker made the play of the day in the 4th helping Steven Wright get out of a jamb. After a single and a walk, Hazelbaker laid out in left to rob a Tides’ hitter of a bloop single, quickly got to his feet and fired a strike to second to double up the runner. Wright got a ground ball from the next hitter to escape without a blemish.
The game ended in a 1-1 tie, but it was a solidly played game on both sides.
Also, I did three interviews today that will be heard during Saturday’s PawSox Insider on WHJJ 920am and on the PawSox radio network from 2-3pm. I caught up with pitcher Brock Huntzinger, Roving Catching Instructor Chad Epperson and outfield prospect Bryce Brentz.
Hope you enjoyed the photos, folks!
I’ll be covering the big league game tomorrow, so stay tuned for more info on that. And, maybe a trip down memory lane will be in store!
Thanks for popping in.